The Shape of Clouds: 8 Ways to See More Clearly

Cloud services are so ubiquitous today, it’s easy to forget they’ve only been part of the business landscape since the late 1990s. From humble beginnings, the cloud has evolved into a vital component of every company’s IT infrastructure—a foundation for emerging.. Continue

Company & Partnership News
Industry Trends & Insights

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Written by
Tim Fitzgerald

Cloud services are so ubiquitous today, it’s easy to forget they’ve only been part of the business landscape since the late 1990s. From humble beginnings, the cloud has evolved into a vital component of every company’s IT infrastructure—a foundation for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and big data analytics.

Becoming a cloud expert takes dedication, investment and energy. Training and education are important, but taking classes here and there will get you only so far. Solution providers also need expert sources and accessible enablement tools. They need to know where they can go for up-to-date information on cloud technology, trends, market players and best practices.

Despite the recent maturity of cloud technology, or perhaps because of it, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices out there. So many vendors, products, solutions and use cases. And so many challenges to consider.

Should you focus on private, public or hybrid cloud? Or go with the increasingly popular multi-cloud approach? Which cloud vendors offer you the best value? Who’s merging with whom? How can you boost your sales and marketing IQ around the cloud? Should you be a cloud generalist or focus your energy on a few profitable verticals?

To help you answer these and other questions, here are eight resources partners can access for valuable information to help them build and maintain a competitive cloud business.


This community of cloud professionals offers expert insight on cloud computing strategies and technology. Editors put their own spin on industry research and news, and cloud players contribute informed content on topics including analytics, infrastructure, security, software and virtualization.

Cloud Wars

Veteran tech journalist Bob Evans covers the cloud marketplace in articles, podcasts, product rankings and his weekly Cloud Wars newsletter. The site’s articles run the gamut—from product news and acquisitions to market statistics and interviews with industry leaders. The Cloud Wars podcast includes both one-off and recurring sessions with industry leaders.

Ingram Micro Cloud

Serving vendors, resellers and retail partners, Ingram Micro Cloud provides a single point-of-entry for companies that sell and deliver cloud solutions. The Go-to-Market Hub offers a one-stop shop for information and expert content about cloud vendors’ products. It’s also useful for creating and executing branded marketing campaigns, and accessing customizable sales enablement resources and industry insights—all at no cost.

Meanwhile, Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, an e-commerce platform and global ecosystem of category-leading digital services, lets partners choose from a vast, up-to-date catalog of cloud offerings.

GeekWire Cloud

This online publication’s Cloud Tech channel features breaking news and explores important trends in cloud computing, DevOps and other enterprise technologies. Articles cover product announcements, vendor alliances, regulatory news, acquisitions and interviews with top industry executives.

Cloud vendor sites

No cloud research is complete without a look at the websites of top cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Oracle. At these top vendor sites, solution providers can compare offerings and see how businesses are leveraging the cloud to increase their efficiency, agility and speed to market.

ZDNet Cloud

This section of the ZDNet site covers all things cloud—Google apps, data center services, virtualization, the usual as-a-service suspects (software, infrastructure and platform) and more. It provides cloud-focused articles, videos and reviews, along with in-depth coverage of key cloud players such as Microsoft, AWS, Google, IBM, Salesforce and VMware.


A site for IT professionals, TechTarget has more than 50,000 articles and 2,000-plus resources covering cloud technology. The reference and self-education tool includes an IT glossary with definitions for about 1,600 cloud-related terms. Articles cover an array of cloud topics with numerous instructional features, including how to thrive in a multi-cloud world, build an effective network architecture, prepare your company for cloud outages and more.

The 2112 Group

A business strategy and research firm, The 2112 Group conducts extensive research to back up their expert insight on cloud computing.

The company’s annual State of the U.S. Cloud Channel report—a research project done in conjunction with Ingram Micro Cloud and Microsoft—delivers insights about cloud trends, vendors and partners. Also, cloud providers can visit the 2112 website for blogs and podcasts on the topic, and (published by 2112) for news coverage on cloud and related technologies.

See what shape your cloud business is in

Explore the 2112 Cloud Altimeter, a web-based tool, for actionable insights you can use to understand your competitive position in the marketplace and develop cloud development strategies.

Simply answer a few questions about your company and its cloud practice, and this tool will generate a comprehensive report on how your company stacks up to others in the same class. To learn more, visit the 2112 Group Cloud Altimeter today.